Six Baltimore community associations had sued Wizig in 2013 over the properties, which they said were a safety hazard. A Baltimore City Circuit Court judge sided with the associations and gave Wizig 90 days to correct code violations. Like his properties in Houston, ownership of those properties was placed in a series of shell corporations, which filed for bankruptcy protection, stalling the city court proceedings.
But Robin Jacobs, one of the Community Law Center lawyers who represented the associations suing Wizig, has faith in this settlement, which requires Wizig to demolish or restore the properties by September 30. He also agreed to pay the associations $85,000.
"The agreement’s most vital provisions require the Defendants to invest in rehabilitating some properties and in demolishing the properties that were beyond repair and endangering community residents,” Jacobs stated in a press release. “While we celebrate this agreement, we also are committed to continue our work with our clients to ensure the Defendants perform their obligations under the agreement.”
Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Pamela J. White ruled July 31, 2014, that Wizig's properties suffered from "unsafe and uninhabitable conditions" that have "remained unabated despite ongoing violations and nuisance(s)."
Those included broken windows; boarded-up doors and windows; collapsed or rotting roofs; trash-strewn yards; and, our favorite, a house split open by a fallen tree.
According to the agreement, a company called Shadow Industries will handle the work, and we must admit that that name doesn't inspire heaps of confidence. But really, nothing pertaining to Wizig inspires confidence. We're not sure why a dude who blatantly ignored a judge's previous order would suddenly agree to this one. Of course, we hope he proves us wrong.
Now if only community organizations in Houston could do something about the way he does business here...